How to Re-Learn after an Illness or an Accident


In certain circumstances following an illness or an accident, an adult may have to re-learn many things. Just as natural curiosity in a child should be encouraged, in an adult it may have to be re-awakened, so that he may discover what he can do and gain enough confidence to extend himself further still. The patient who has had a stroke, for example, may have to learn to speak again, to feed himself with only one hand and chew his food with a part of his face which he cannot control. He may have to learn to walk with a paralysed leg and struggle to re-learn many simple skills he mastered as a young child.

The man who has lost an arm in an accident not only has to master the skills of everyday living, but may have to be retrained at his old job or learn to do a new one. The patient with spinal damage must learn to propel a wheelchair, re-learn the skills of driving with hand controls and adapt his daily living to wheelchair height. These are just some examples of circumstances that might make re-learning necessary.

How to Re Learn after an Illness or an Accident Illness

To be successful in cases of severe physical handicap, re-education requires a team approach. The detailed planning is for the expert, but each professional worker and volunteer contributes his own special skills. The patient’s family and his friends can all help in giving the care. In some cases progress is slow, while too much physical activity is damaging. You should be aware of this, and stay in close contact with the experts, so that you can consult with them before giving any care.

Resources for re-learning for the individual at home are wide-ranging. Television further education, available to anyone with a television or a radio, might be one option, another could be a corres­pondence course, which will probably require a greater level of commitment on the part of the patient. Computers and word processors also have a valuable role to play in helping some patients adapt to changed circumstances.

Retirement and old age

When the day of retirement comes it brings a loss of friends and a change in status. Income is often severely reduced. Unless they have a wide range of interests, retired people risk finding themselves lonely and bored. Because of this, it is worthwhile planning activities for retirement in some detail beforehand. People who have devoted time to thinking about how they are going to fill their days often come to find retirement a period of great fulfilment, when at last they are able to indulge in all the pursuits they did not have time to try when they were working.

Many people turn to their garden or take up golf. Others find satisfaction in the abundance of day and evening classes run by the local education authority (where senior citizens are often entitled to pay reduced fees). Such classes provide com­panionship, interest and the opportunity to learn something new and possibly make new friends. Television further education and correspondence courses may also offer intellectual stimulation.

As the years pass, however, even the most contented and fulfilled people usually find that they have to modify or re-learn skills. The normal ageing process causes the’ eyes to dim, hearing to lose its clarity, and people to become generally slower. Bones are brittle and break more easily, while mobility may also be affected. The sense of smell is less acute, so that smoke from a house fire or escaping gas, for instance, may go unnoticed. All or some of these gradually encroaching disabilities may eventually cause the patient to need nursing care and regular attention.

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Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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